“RedFarm brings a greenmarket sensibility to modern and inventive Chinese food” says their website. Whatever that means. The potential for this import from New York to be a bit crap is quite high. (This is their first in the UK, next to Balthazar in Covent Garden). But it’s actually loads of fun.
Dishes like pork and crab xiaolongbao (£8), that’s those soup dumplings which are always SO good, come with a straw sticking out the top. You suck the gloriously comforting broth from inside then eat the rest. I’ve never seen it done before but it makes total sense.
Pac Man shrimp dumplings (£12) are another dish made for the old Insta. Most importantly though they taste ruddy good. All sticky and squidgy filled with bouncy, fresh prawn. It’s a textural delight. Three colour vegetable dumplings (£8.50) come in their own flower pot surrounded by pickled veg. It’s the same thing here; textures aplenty.
Cheeseburger spring rolls (£10) seem to be popping up all over the place at the minute. Here, they are grease free, fried crisp and have all the comfort factor you want from a cheeseburger. Impressive really.
BBQ pork bao sliders (£12) taste like bacon baps. The bacon bits are smokey and sweet although I could do with a little more of the pig. Szechuan lamb skewers (£9) aren’t overpowered by the spice. The cubes of soft lamb are also super fatty which is never a bad thing.
From the specials board, strawberry and foie gras tarts (£12) are a marriage made in heaven. Sweet and fatty things so often are. They are also shaped like pelicans. Why? Just because.
We finish with custard bao buns (£8). That intense, short sugar hit is the perfect way to end any meal. Unfussy and simple, just what you want after the whacky stuff before.
Grace Dent gets it spot on in her review for The Guardian; “Big, daft, delicious fun’. Washed down with a few decent Negronis we had a hoot at Red Farm. The staff are all super friendly too which sweetens the deal no end.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant